City Council OKs new Missoula Bone & Joint surgery center

Missoula Bone & Joint’s president promised shorter wait times, more one-on-one attention, lower costs and the highest-quality medical care Monday night as the Missoula City Council approved a new 31,949-square-foot ambulatory surgery center on Mullan Road.

Dr. Gary Willstein told council members that the new surgery center will be open 24 hours a day, adding to the “repertoire” of what Missoula Bone & Joint already provides at its 43,307-square-foot offices on the same campus.

With the new center, “we will be able to do outpatient spine and joint surgery in a much more convenient, non-hospital setting,” he added.

By providing their own surgery center, Willstein said, costs of procedures will be 50-60 percent less than hospital-based procedures.

Council members were convinced, with council president Bryan von Lossberg praising Missoula Bone & Joint for a “quality” project.

The medical clinic needed council members’ approval because the surgery center’s size – over 30,000 square feet – placed it into a category requiring council approval as an “enterprise commercial use.”

The two-story building will blend in with the design of the other buildings on the campus, according to John Wells, of MMW Architects in Missoula. Unique features of the surgery center will be areas for drop-off and pick-up of surgery patients.

The property is accessed from Great Northern Loop. The project will bring the total number of parking spaces at the site to 206, significant over the city’s requirement.

Monday night’s vote of approval was unanimous, with Ward 4 council member John DiBari absent.